Amazon squares up to Uber with backing for UK food app Deliveroo

Deliveroo uses 60,000 riders dressed in black and teal jackets to deliver meals from over 80,000 restaurants and takeaway outlets in 14 countries. (AFP)
Updated 17 May 2019

Amazon squares up to Uber with backing for UK food app Deliveroo

  • Deliveroo said Amazon was the lead investor in a new $575 million funding round
  • In Britain, Deliveroo is locked in a battle with Uber Eats and the online platform Just Eat

LONDON: Amazon has led a funding round in British online food delivery company Deliveroo, pitting itself against Uber Eats and other smaller providers in an escalating battle to deliver takeaway meals.
The news that the world’s biggest online retailer had taken a stake in one of Europe’s fastest growing tech companies sent shockwaves through the sector, hitting shares in rivals Just Eat, Takeaway.com and Delivery Hero.
Deliveroo founder and CEO Will Shu said the investment would enable the group to further expand its reach, develop its technology and pursue innovations such as the launch of its own kitchens that can be rented to restaurants to meet demand.
Deliveroo said Amazon was the lead investor in a new $575 million funding round. The new Series G funding takes the total Deliveroo has raised to date to $1.53 billion.
Its existing investors are T. Rowe Price, Fidelity Management and Research Co, and Greenoaks.
“Amazon has been an inspiration to me personally and to the company, and we look forward to working with such a customer-obsessed organization,” Shu said.
Headquartered in London, Deliveroo uses 60,000 riders dressed in black and teal jackets to deliver meals from over 80,000 restaurants and takeaway outlets in 14 countries including France, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore and Kuwait.
In Britain it is locked in a battle with Uber Eats and the online platform Just Eat and its riders are a common sight carrying delivery boxes emblazoned with its kangaroo logo.
“We’re impressed with Deliveroo’s approach, and their dedication to providing customers with an ever-increasing selection of great restaurants along with convenient delivery options,” said Doug Gurr, Amazon UK Country manager.
“Will and his team have built an innovative technology and service, and we’re excited to see what they do next.”
The arrival of Amazon alarmed smaller rivals in the sector such as Just Eat, which saw its shares fall 10 percent in early trading over fears it would be squeezed between two online giants with global ambitions and deep pockets.
Just Eat had a market valuation of £4.6 billion ($5.9 billion) prior to Friday’s fall.
Amazon currently sells food in Britain through its Amazon Fresh, Amazon Pantry and Amazon Prime Now services and has a wholesale deal with supermarket Morrisons. But, according to market researchers Kantar Worldpanel, its UK grocery market share is still less than 1 percent.
It has previously tried and failed to run a restaurant delivery service in Britain.


Nvidia deal for Arm will drive computing power growth, says SoftBank’s CEO

Updated 23 October 2020

Nvidia deal for Arm will drive computing power growth, says SoftBank’s CEO

  • Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF) is an anchor investor in the $100 billion Vision Fund

TOKYO/DUBAI: SoftBank Group Corp. CEO Masayoshi Son said on Thursday the sale of chip designer Arm to Nvidia Corp. will drive growth in computing power, in his first public comments since the $40 billion deal was announced in September.
Son made the comments at a virtual summit about artificial intelligence hosted by Saudi Arabia, an anchor investor in the $100 billion Vision Fund, at which he reiterated his belief that AI would transform society.
The Nvidia deal, part of a series of asset sales by Son, whose group has been shaken by soured investments and the COVID-19 pandemic, has raised concerns it will threaten Arm’s role as a neutral supplier in the industry.
Son is set to speak next week with Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang at SoftBank World, the group’s annual event for customers and suppliers that is being retooled as it focuses on investing.
SoftBank’s growing cash pile is driving speculation about future investment plans, with the Vision Fund targeting external funding for a blank-check company, a source said, in a sign the group is regaining its mojo.
“I am a risk taker,” Son said on Thursday.
Rajeev Misra, CEO of SoftBank Investment Advisers which oversees the Vision Fund, said the market share gained by online commerce companies in the last six to eight months is more than what they gained in the previous four years put together.
“COVID has accelerated the acceleration of AI even further,” Misra told the same conference, adding in the 105 companies Vision Fund 1 and 2 have invested in, artificial intelligence is the core of their businesses.